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Building a workplace of choice: Using the work environment to attract and retain top talent

Heather A. Earle (Senior Analyst, Real Property Policy Sector, Public Works and Government Services Canada, 5B3 Phase III, Place du Portage, 11 Laurier Street Gatineau, Quebec Canada K1A 0S5; Tel: +1 819 956 5475; Fax: +1 819 956 5546; E‐mail:

Journal of Facilities Management

ISSN: 1472-5967

Article publication date: 1 July 2003



Today, organisations around the globe are operating in an unprecedented, highly competitive seller’s market. The global workforce is now more mobile than ever before, meaning that companies are no longer simply competing for talent nationally, but rather on an international level. The Canadian Federal Government, like most Government organisations, simply cannot compete with private industry in the area of salaries, stock options or perks. In addition, the impending wave of retirements that threatens to devastate the Federal employment ranks has caused us to look to the work environment as a means of attracting and retaining the top talent we need. This paper examines the characteristics of the different generations that currently make up our workforce and discusses what they, as well as new recruits, expect from their employers and from their work environments. It also delves into the role the workplace plays in recruitment and retention and the way in which it can be used to improve an organisation’s corporate identity. It then looks at what types of perks are actually valued most by employees, and explores how the physical environment can be aligned to help shape a company’s organisational culture and facilitate the communication, teamwork and creativity that are necessary to sustain a culture of continual innovation.



Earle, H.A. (2003), "Building a workplace of choice: Using the work environment to attract and retain top talent", Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 244-257.




Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

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